North of Lecce, Puglia, a typical Italian countryside, is the home to Certosa and Manfredi. They were once residences of a noble family and a farmhouse for a flower market, respectively. Certosa even towers over miles of vineyards and olive groves. Such beautiful landscapes with a calming environment are a beauty to behold. But why are the likes of Sicily, Umbria, Tuscany, and Puglia in Italy been gradually having loss of residents over the past few decades?
A significant cause could be the drastic urbanization of Cities such as Milan and Rome, which attracted many countryside residents. Many ex-pats from America also preferred the rich cultural cities of Italy and mainly settled there. Compared to other parts of the country, the general quality of life played a vital role in this trend.
A global pandemic hits the world
However, in the dusk of 2019 and the dawn of the following year, Covid-19 struck. An unprecedented virus struck China first. By the time this virus moved from epidemic to pandemic status, Italy had already started getting glaring signs that the virus would be a slap in the face for them. In March 2020, a record high of an average of 5600 cases per day was recorded in the country.
The pandemic led to the closure of the borders keeping American ex-pats from entering and exiting the country. With strict lockdown measures in the cities-mainly where the pandemic was at its worst, a trend of residents in cities gradually moving to the countryside started surfacing. Italy was ravaged by the pandemic that year. By November, an ultimate high of an average of 34,000 cases of Covid-19 was being recorded by the country. Huge bummer. It affected the livelihoods of the Italian people and hindered a lot of activities.
Why interest in the countryside grew
Perhaps the severity of the virus in the urban areas sparked growing interest in Italy’s relatively mildly affected countryside areas. After years of locals trying to transform these places into hubs for viable residency and tourism, it is becoming a reality. Many Ex-pats in the cities, especially Americans, have and are considering moving to suburban areas.
A number of them have already been set up in the countryside. A significant number of them who had to be on hold the past year due to travel restrictions have had the time to research viable options in the countryside and made solid plans to move there as soon as it could be feasible.
Why the countryside made a lot of sense to American ex-pats
The pandemic has led many travelers and migrants to also focus on the less popular areas of Italy. It even makes more sense for American ex-pats, as a side effect of the pandemic is remote working. They can work from home effectively and enjoy the affordable cost of living in suburban areas. Euronews.com recently spoke to a couple who left the city of Milan and moved to a small mountain village.
They expressed that the Covid-19 pandemic is one of the reasons they did so and reiterated that as a result of the pandemic, more cities inevitably start expanding outwards, with residents having to adapt to new environments. Now to take advantage of this post-pandemic legacy, leaders and grassroots organizations are taking proactive measures to improve infrastructure and shoot villages into 21st century modern standards.
The steady growth of ex-pats to Italy
According to a recent survey conducted by Gateway.com, Italian Property Portal, more than 50 percent of international house hunters and would-be buyers are still set on moving to Italy. Another 44 percent are still interested in buying but have stalled the process to monitor the situation in Italy. The migration emphasizes that most international movers, including American ex-pats, have not been overly swayed by the effects of the pandemic in Italy.
And they are still bent on moving there, with the countryside being very exciting prospects for them. A good number of them have already paid deposits and are on the verge of finalizing purchase agreements for housing and accommodation. However, the unfortunate situation caused by the pandemic in Italy, residents, and ex-pats must find ways to adapt. Moving to the attractive countryside is a thoughtful consideration for doing just that.